Former `Bosch’ crew member sues Amazon over removal
A former script coordinator for the former Amazon Studios/Fabrik Entertainment LLC series “Bosch” is suing the companies, alleging she was wrongfully removed from her job with the show and denied a position with a spinoff series because she got pregnant and sought family leave.
Plaintiff Jessica Kivnik’s Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit allegations include discrimination, harassment and retaliation and failure to take all steps to stop discrimination and retaliation. She also is suing Hold Fast Productions LLC, Media Services Processing LLC and “Bosch” executive producer Pieter Jan Brugge.
Kivnik seeks unspecified compensatory and punitive damages in the suit brought Wednesday. An Amazon Studios representative did not immediately reply to a request for comment.
Kivnik worked as a script coordinator for the company defendants during the fifth, sixth and seventh seasons of the Amazon Prime Video series and was under the supervision of Brugge and showrunner Eric Overmyer, the suit states.
In February 2020, prior to beginning her work on the seventh season of the show, Kivnik tried to negotiate a pay increase with Brugge, but during negotiations, he asked her such questions as how much money her husband made and how dependent her family was on her salary, the suit states.
“Brugge also commented that plaintiff was not working enough hours to warrant a higher rate because she picked her daughter up at preschool at 6 p.m.,” the suit states.
Brugge told Kivnik the next month that management was giving her a lower raise than even he had predicted she would have to accept, the suit states.
Kivnik told Overmyer that same month that she was pregnant and expected to deliver in late July or early August 2020, the suit states.
Kivnik asked for four to six weeks off, but Overmyer said Kivnik “should probably find someone to replace her because she would have more important things to worry about,” the suit states.
Although crew members began to return to work in May 2020 after having worked the previous two months at home due to the coronavirus, Kivnik was told to remain remote and was ignored when she asked whether she would be reimbursed for her utilities, meal and phone expenses, the suit states.
One afternoon, Brugge called Kivnik and told her he was uncomfortable with her working after she had a baby, noting that he was a father of three and “knew how disruptive a baby was,” the suit states.
Brugge called Kivnik’s request for phone reimbursement “ridiculous,” then blamed the plaintiff for his attitude, stating that she made him yell at a pregnant woman in a way that made him feel “icky,” the suit states.
Kivnik took a four-week paid leave in August 2020 and returned the next month, the suit states. During a December 2020 conversation between her and Brugge concerning a script revision and her work schedule, Brugge “stated that he disliked plaintiff and disliked working with (her) very much,” adding that she “made him feel uncomfortable because it was clear she had her infant in her lap during the call on a weekend,” the suit states.
Kivnik considered Brugge’s alleged statements harassment and reported them to Overmyer, who responded that while the remarks were unacceptable, they were “justified due to the stress of producing a show during the pandemic,” the suit states.
A producer who worked for Brugge subsequently told Kivinik that her last day working on “Bosch” would be mid-January 2021, which she considered retaliation because she had always negotiated her employment periods with Brugge personally, the suit states.
Kivnik found out in March 2021 that there would be a “Bosch” spinoff series and she asked about a position, but was told that the show was fully staffed, the suit states.
Kivnik believes that Brugge decided that she would not be hired for the spinoff series because of her prior discussions with him concerning her pregnancy, leave, compensation and reimbursements, the suit states.
Kivnik’s frustrations at Amazon Studios have left her with emotional distress, humiliation and other mental pain, the suit states.
“Bosch,” developed by O